As the number of cruise ship arrivals into Costa Rica have fallen over recent years, the country’s tourism institute has established a committee bent on bringing more ships to local shores. Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann said Costa Rica is creating the committee to focus on cruise promotion, infrastructure, and worker training in an effort to attract major cruise lines to visit the country more frequently.
“Since the beginning of this administration, we’ve visualized cruise tourism as a spearhead for tourism growth,” the minister said. “It also generates a productive linking that benefits coastal communities and the positioning of our overall image as a distinct destination.”
Institute numbers show that cruise liner traffic has dropped significantly from 2010 as 100 fewer ships, and 200,000 fewer passengers, arrived in Costa Rica last year.
The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo has joined with the
Asociación Costarricense de Industria de Cruceros to analyze paths of improvement when it comes to cruise operations. Talks between representatives from both organizations went on Tuesday and Wednesday as local tourism business leaders and community members also joined in on the discussions. Nicolás Staton, president of the country’s cruise industry association, said attracting more cruise ships can only boost local economies and directly contribute to Costa Rica’s overall growth.
Officials say they have also been in talks with the Cruise Association of Florida and the Caribbean to gain tighter relationships with cruise line executives and strengthen training systems for local businesses that are involved in this niche tourism industry.
Another hot topic concerns actions that improve port infrastructure and the attention to cruise passengers as they arrive in Costa Rica. The tourism institute has worked alongside the Junta de Administración Portuaria y Desarrollo Económico de Vertiene Atlántica, known as Japdeva, and the port authority to make sure tour operators, transporters, and business people are highly trained in each port.